Green Book Fairies #24: Let’s Talk About… Cosmetics!

It’s day 24 and we #GreenBookFairies appreciate the beauty of a naked face as well as the pure fun of eco-friendly cosmetic indulgences. “Painting your face” and facials have been enjoyed by people since before Cleopatra and we’re no different!

The problem:

It can often be difficult to find cosmetics that are free of toxic chemicals and eco-packaged but also don’t make you break out. In 2008, the cosmetics industry created over 120 billion units of packaging. Billion. The personal is political, so making changes so that your own consumption in the long-term is sustainable is a powerful form of activism [Grazia].

The solutions:

  • Make your cosmetics! We have recipes to help – SCROLL DOWN! 
  • Refuse plastic! Pass up the plastic encased choices.
  • Get creative! Repurpose make up containers for carrying toothpaste tabs, solid perfume, jewellery and more.
  • Choose responsible brands! Shop with companies that will refill and take back their containers. (ie Lush)
  • When purchasing through a website, request ‘no plastic packaging’.
  • Check with for toxicity when you see any cosmetic ingredient with which you’re not familiar. 
  • Apps to check out: Beat The Microbead & Think Dirty – Shop Clean

Fairy verdicts:

“So a couple months back I wanted to try and find some package free make-up, as the thought of the amount that ends up wasted is ridiculous! After trying solid make-up with cardboard packaging, I’d never go back! Not only do I find the product incredible and better to use for my skin, but the fact that I’m not causing waste is amazing!”

Cary, Cornwall UK

“Before lockdowns, I never used to think about what I put on my face. I enjoyed make-up that came in fancy packaging….especially the lipsticks. Now that I’ve been barefaced for so many months with my skin having never looked this good, I cannot imagine putting anything on my face that could be harmful to my body… or the Earth, for that matter.”

Katherine, Toronto

Recipes for making your own cosmetics!

Blush Directions: 

In a small jar, mix cocoa or carob (brown), cinnamon (orange), and beat root (pink) powders to achieve the color of your choice. These can also be used alone. 

Face application: immediately after the application of your moisturizer, lightly tap blush brush onto the powder and apply to the face where color is needed. The moisturizer will fix the powder. 

Kohl Eyeliner Directions: 

In a metal sieve, placed over a mortar, burn 10 almonds, one at a time. It takes a few minutes to get one completely lit. 

Sift the ashes into the mortar and grind them as finely as possible with a pestle.  

Add a tiny drop of oil and grind them again. The mixture should remain powdery if not you’ve added too much oil. 

Transfer the black powder into a small jar or kohl container. Use an chiseled eye brush for application. 

Eyebrow Liner Directions: 

Mix cocoa powder and kohl (recipe above) to match your eyebrow color. Use alone or use either color alone. 

Wet a small chiseled brush and water for the hairspray recipe for a stronger holding mix with some powder before applying. 

Eyeshadow Directions For Color: 

pastel green: French clay 

army green: sage powder 

gold: turmeric powder 

brown: cocoa powder 

black: kohl (see recipe above)

Kohl Mascara Directions: 

In a small glass jar, combine 1 teaspoon beeswax, a one and half teaspoons coconut butter, and a quarter teaspoon of khol (see recipe above). 

Place the jar in a small sauce pan with 1 inch of water on medium heat until the mixture is melted.

Remove from heat and stir half a teaspoon honey into the mixture.  

Wait to cool in order for it to solidify. 

Stir vigourously to make a paste and transfer to a jar or small tin. 

Face Powder Directions: 

Transfer corn starch to a small jar. Use alone or add green clay if you want to correct skin redness. Or add bronzer.

Lip/Cheek Stain Directions: 

Slice beets (beetroot) and simmer in water until cooked number. 

Eat the beets. 

Reduce the leftover juice. 

Remove from heat and let cool.  

Pour into a glass roll-on to leave room to top with a splash of vodka. 

Multi-Purpose Balm Directions:

In a small glass jar, combine 1 tablespoon beeswax and 4 tablespoons oil (any oil). Prefer sunflower oil. 

Place a jar and a small sauce pan with 1 inch of water and stir on medium heat until the mixture is melted.  

Pour in small tin and let cool. 

Hairspray Directions: 

 Cover two sliced lemons with 2 cups of water in a pot. 

 Boil on high for 20 minutes to reduce. 

Strain and pour into a spray bottle. 

Add 2 tablespoons of vodka to preserve. 

-credit: Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson pp.98-10

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